Potential Kindle 3 freezing fix available via Kindle 3 update

The latest update for the Kindle 3 is now available for download. It’s called 3.0.1 and there are three different versions.

This update seems to fix the Kindle 3 freezing issue for some/most people. People who were having the Kindle 3 freezing issue are mostly seeing the issue disappear after their Kindle 3 gets this update.

Warning: Very small sample size and anecdotal evidence.  

What is the new Kindle Upgrade? Should you get it?

An early preview release of the Kindle 3.0.1 software update is available at Amazon’s website. It’s an ‘early preview’ of a Kindle 3 update which Amazon is releasing to gather more customer information.

It’s an upgrade that is defined as -

This software update adds the ability to create a new Amazon.com account directly from your Kindle, as well as additional performance improvements.

It’s probably better defined as -

This is our best fix for the freezing issue and we’re hoping you’ll test it out and let us know. We can fix it for 80% of people who’re seeing it. We need more data to figure out how to fix it for everyone.

Note: This is just my opinion.

There’s no other explanation for why Amazon would release an ‘early preview’ and ask for feedback. It’s also puzzling that there are two sets of Kindle 3s marked out (Serial Numbers starting with B00A and Serial Numbers starting with B006) with separate fixes for each.

  1. If you aren’t having the freezing issue – Please don’t download the new update. It’s much better to wait until it’s well understood and Amazon sends it out to everyone.
  2. If you are having the freezing issue but can live with it or can’t take a chance on a ‘preview release’ – Again, please don’t download the update. It’s better to wait until the brave souls have tested it out for you.
  3. If you are experiencing the freezing issue and you’re willing to try out the Kindle 3.0.1 update – Well, check out the next section.

 Once more time just to be sure -

Warning: If you don’t have the freezing issue or aren’t willing to risk an ‘early preview’ release then please DO NOT install the fix.

How do you install the new Kindle Upgrade?

The Help Page has good instructions. However, will quickly walk you through the steps -

Go to Help and Read Instructions

Go to the Amazon Help Page linked above (Kindle 3.0.1 software upgrade). Read the instructions.

Find out which Kindle you have

Figure out whether you have Kindle WiFi or a B006 Kindle 3 or a B00A Kindle 3. 

To do this press Menu on the Kindle Home Page and choose Settings. On the Settings Page scroll down to the bottom and look at the Device Info section.

  1. Kindle WiFi – The network capability will say ‘Wi-Fi’ and serial number will start with B008.  
  2. Kindle 3G Group B006 – The network capability will say ‘Wi-Fi and 3G’ and serial number will start with B006.
  3. Kindle 3G Group B00A – The network capability will say ‘Wi-Fi and 3G’ and serial number will start with B00A.

After figuring this out go back to the help page and choose the appropriate download link.

Download Kindle 3 Update and move to Kindle 3

Choose the appropriate download link and click on it. Choose ‘Save’ in the File Download dialog and save to a Folder like Documents which will be easy to remember and easy to access.

The various file names are (these might change if Amazon changes the files) -

  1. Kindle WiFi – Update_kindle_3.0.1_B008.bin .
  2. Kindle 3G Serial Number B00A group – Update_kindle_3.0.1_B00A.bin .
  3. Kindle 3G Serial Number B006 group – Update_kindle_3.0.1_B006.bin .

Now plug your Kindle 3 or Kindle WiFi into your computer and drag (or copy) the downloaded file into the main Folder of your Kindle. This is the folder that has ‘Documents’ and ‘Music’ and other folders in it.

Update your Kindle 3

Unplug your Kindle 3 from the computer. This is important. Don’t just eject it – unplug it. Go to the Settings Page again (On the Kindle Home Page press Menu and choose Settings).

On Settings Page press Menu and you should see the ‘Update Your Kindle’ link available in the Menu. You won’t see this if you didn’t move the file correctly or downloaded the wrong file. Press this link and the Kindle will start upgrading.

Please don’t turn off the Kindle 3 or try to restart it – just let it upgrade. It takes 5 to 10 minutes (sometimes a bit longer). It goes through two restarts so don’t interrupt it if you see the second restart.

After that your Kindle 3 will be up to date. To confirm you have the latest version go to the Settings Page and at the bottom right check the Version. It should say Kindle 3.0.1.

What are Kindle 3 owners seeing with the latest update?

Well, here’s what people are reporting -

  1. Page turns seem to be faster. Not sure in my case as page turns were pretty fast and didn’t remember to time them before upgrading. 
  2. If you have a Mac you might see an issue where you get a zip file instead of a .bin file. Call up customer support. The fix (untested) might be deleting ‘.bin’ from the end of the file name.
  3. A few people were seeing Kindle 3 freezing when using the Browser and are no longer seeing that problem.
  4. Don’t see the ‘ability to create a new Amazon account’ that’s listed on the update page. Not even sure of how to check for it.
  5. Quite a few people are reporting that they are seeing no problems at all after the Kindle 3 update. There is also one person (on another forum thread) who reports that the fix didn’t work for her.

It’s pretty cool to see a potential fix done and available. It seems to be working for most people and if you’re having the Kindle 3 freezing issue – hopefully, it works for you.

13 Responses

  1. still nothing on changes to korea font and improvement to the browser. Those seem to be the major requests

  2. I’ve updated my kindle and it is working fine. I was having frequent freezes and reboots (i had a pdf that crashed my kindle every time I opened it). No more crashes nor freezes in 12 hours. Page turns are really faster. Web Browser works really well (standard versions of gmail, google reader, google maps work)

    The only remaining problem, although not so frequent as before and without occasional crashing, is that highlighting sometimes is slow: when I finish a highlight, it “freeze” for 1-5 seconds and then I can continue.

  3. I’d say the largest request (and need) has been for the resets and freezes. I had experienced those occasionally but not in recent days.

    After installing the update I noticed immediately that the page turns were much faster (and I was happy with them beforehand). I still need to test other functions.

  4. As one of the first K3 users (3G+Wi-Fi) to get the beta, I have to applaud Amazon’s efforts. They managed to fix some real issues in what I think is a fairly rapid response time. Too bad effectively defective product was shipped in the first place, but glad they were able to jump right on it. Kudos!

  5. You’d think they could have mentioned it in their official instructions it won’t reboot only once? It freaked the hell out of me!

    When it rebooted for the first time it started applying the update again (was puzzled already there and thought I’ll be experiencing something of an endless loop) and then it was seemingly stuck at the very end of the update.

    It got “unstuck” just as I read your blog. :) Sure, would have give it a lot longer to be sure it really got stuck (since I imagine what can happen if it really got interrupted during such an update) but that few moments were really tense.

    I only have my Kindle for less than 2 days but I already experienced several hangs, I think two restarts and one complete screen freeze. Granted some of these were initiated during browsing but still…

    Glad to see Amazon issuing updates like this.

    Do you know if someone ever bricked their Kindle by interrupting the update? Does Amazon provide any tools to rectify this or is it a trip back to Amazon then?

    • Not sure if someone bricked their Kindle by messing up the update.

      • Hopefully not. I guess you using and writing about these devices for so long, you’d be the one to know if something like that ever surfaced… so you not knowing it is a good sign. :)

        BTW, interestingly how I stumbled upon http://twitter.com/dkdsgn/status/24039867992 just after wondering what would happen with Kindle in a similar scenario (the tweet isn’t related to Amazon Kindle but some businesses’ practices…).

  6. I applied the update as soon as I got home from work and it appears to have fixed my freezing problems. It does seem faster, but maybe because it’s not freezing up anymore! :) Thanks for the tip.

  7. I have no choice but to update. My kindle has frozen twice on the cover page and would not even turn on any more the second time. The first time, I recharged it overnight. It worked fine after doing the soft reset instructions I found online. Then, when I stopped reading for the night and turned it off, the next morning it was frozen again and would not turn on. The soft reset did not work.

  8. [...] and Freezing – Easily the #1 issue. Note that there is a fix available now as an ‘early preview’ that fixes this crashing/freezing issue for most Kindle 3s [...]

  9. The update did the trick for me, thank goodness. I had been planning to return it if it didn’t .

    I hope when the beta is final, they push it out so non-computer folks can have it “just work”.

    Interesting that the media hasn’t pick up on this more…

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